Do you feel tempted to throw in the towel regarding your marriage? I know it can be tempting to just bail out, but please let me encourage you to do everything you can to fight FOR your marriage!
When you’re going through a serious challenge in your marriage, it seems right to choose the path where the pain can be quickly relieved. In a nutshell, it often seems best to choose divorce. But I’ve been through divorce, and I can honestly say that even though some of your pain will be relieved, you’ll be faced with a whole new set of problems and heartbreak.
So, maybe you should try something else. What if you were to seek outside counsel for your marriage? What if you were to spend time on your knees crying out to God on behalf of your marriage? What if you were to courageously, but respectfully, confront your husband if he is seriously out of line in some area? That could be the beginning of a turn-around in your marriage.
And also, please consider that other people are watching how you handle challenging times. Your children are watching how you handle this. Are you teaching them to bail out of situations and relationships when the going gets tough, or are you showing them how to persevere and do the hard work to restore the relationship? Meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”
If you’re a wife and a mom….life can get pretty busy! If you’re a wife and mom and you work outside the home, well then life can be pretty chaotic and crazy!!
Sometimes in that busyness, we can get so caught up in chores and children that we unintentionally ignore our husbands! So, here’s something I’m trying to remember to do. When my husband enters the house after work, I’m trying to remember to actually pivot toward him and make eye contact. I even try to throw in a smile as an extra bonus! Sometimes, I even take the 3 extra seconds to run over and give him a little kiss. J
I know this isn’t rocket science, but we often are so intent on our children or cooking or cleaning, that we don’t even glance our husband’s way. That leaves him feeling unimportant and disrespected. Remember, respect is a really big deal to men. That’s why God instructs us in Ephesians 5:33, “The wife must respect her husband.”
So, give it a try. Make eye contact with your husband when he comes home from work, and actually any time he enters a room you’re in. Smile. Make him feel happy to be in the same room you. You will draw his heart to you and strengthen the bond between you. J
I’m coming to believe more and more that we would all benefit from living a more natural lifestyle…as in the way God created things to be! Let me give two examples that might apply to you as a wife:
1) Did you know that most husbands, when surveyed, say they prefer their wives to wear less makeup? The clear majority of men say they actually like their women to wear either no make-up at all or just light make-up. In other words, they prefer a natural look…the appearance that God gave you in the first place!
2) If you’ve been battling your weight, did you know that going all-natural can greatly assist you in dropping those extra pounds? Let me tell you from personal experience, it’s true!! For over 5 years now, my husband and I have been eliminating all refined and processed foods from our diet, and wow! We are enjoying wonderful whole grain foods, cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies, etc. We have both lost about 25 pounds and we feel great!
Maybe God knew best when he created us 🙂 Deuteronomy 32:4 says “He is the Rock, his works are perfect…” Maybe it’s time we got back to living the way God intended when he created us!
There are a lot of dangers for a wife who gives into the temptation to look backward. Allow me to reveal two specific ways in which we tend to look backward, as well as the resulting danger.
1) Since almost the beginning of creation, we’ve had a tendency to want to look back at our past. I think of Lot’s wife who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah and suffered for that decision by being turned into a pillar of salt! God may have asked us to move forward in serving him, or perhaps we’ve entered a new relationship, but we tend to look back with longing at how things used to be. In modern day, many wives are tempted to “look back” at their old high school boyfriend by checking them out on Facebook. But that is dangerous. It opens the door to make a connection that can slowly develop into something that pulls you away from your husband.
2) As wives, we also tend to “look back” at the past failures or sins of our husbands. We often replay the hurtful incident over and over again, even 10 or 20 years later! That always ends badly. Resentment rises up again and causes continuing damage in the relationship. We need to have a forward gaze. Philippians 3:13-14 says, ” Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Deal with any sinful behavior going on today, but let’s decide to leave the past in the past.
Does your mouth often cause trouble between you and your husband (or between you and other people)? If you’re one of many women who end up “venting” on their husband or saying harsh words you later regret, God’s Word gives us 3 clues on how we can respond appropriately when we start to feel our anger rising.
1) Pause. Just stop. Leave the room for a moment if you need to. Don’t react in the moment because your gut-level reaction will almost always cause trouble! James 1:19 puts it this way, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” So pause before you react verbally.
2) During the pause, consult the Holy Spirit and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how to love and respect your husband with your response. Would your husband be positively impacted by a gentle and encouraging word from you? Would your husband be more willing to make changes that you’re requesting if you showed him respect by asking him to help you understand his perspective? Philippians 2:4 says “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
3) When you’re ready to address the issue with your husband, say a silent prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to be the one speaking to your husband by using your mouth. Trust me. The Holy Spirit will come up with much better words than you ever could, and will utter those words in a much more respectful way! When speaking to his disciples, Jesus said in Matthew 10:19-20, “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
The perfect gift for your husband…whether it’s Christmas, father’s day, his birthday or your anniversary….is super inexpensive. Give him the gift of respect! The Bible makes it clear that a wife is to respect her husband. This instruction is found in Ephesians 5:33 which simply says “the wife must respect her husband”, and most wives know that a man craves his wife’s respect. However, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to communicate that respect. It’s especially difficult if your husband isn’t perfect! We naturally gravitate to focusing on what’s wrong with our men as opposed to what’s right.
I’m not saying we should ignore a husband’s blatant sin or destructive patterns. We definitely need to pray about confronting disrespectful, destructive, or immoral patterns of behavior. However, we can’t ONLY focus on his areas of weakness. Our men need to know that we believe in them. They need to know that we notice their strengths too!
A simple way to communicate respect is to voice appreciation for the big and small things your husband does for you and your family. Does he go to work each day? Tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. Does he set aside some time each day to play with the kids? Let him know how much you appreciate that. Does he refrain from stopping at the bar on the way home from work? Tell him how much you appreciate that he comes straight home to his family. A great gift you can give to your husband is your daily appreciation for all he does. It’s a sign of respect.
Have you ever noticed a blank look on your husband’s face when you suddenly bring up a heavy topic, voice a frustration, or ask him to change a behavior? Or does your husband seem to get defensive very quickly in those moments? I’m discovering that the reason for the blank look or the immediate defensiveness is because a man thinks differently than a woman!
Women process thoughts, ideas and feelings at lightning speed. We are ready to engage in a deep conversation at the drop of a hat. We can verbalize how we feel instantaneously! Men, on the other hand, need time to process their thoughts and feelings. So…..when we suddenly bring up a deep topic, or state how we feel, or ask them to make a change in behavior, or heaven forbid, ask them how they feel, our men become like the proverbial “deer in the headlights”! Often they default to the blank look on the face or they become defensive because they feel pressured to do or say something, and they haven’t yet had a chance to think things through.
Here’s what I’m trying to learn to do. I need to bring up a concern or state my feelings on an issue and then let my husband have some breathing room to process it. I need to say “let’s talk more about this later after you’ve had a chance to think about it.” Most men need some space to process their thoughts and feelings. Maybe this is a good opportunity for us to practice patience! Ponder these two Proverbs. Proverbs 19:11 “A person’s wisdom yields patience…” Proverbs 14:29 “Whoever is patient has great understanding….”
— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE